Hunter Hayes knows a trip to St. Jude fills the cup up. It's why he returns again and again and again.

"The sense of positive spirit is incredible," the "Heartbreak" singer tells Taste of Country. "It's always positive, it's always can-do and it's always persistent. You never get the sense that anybody here is daunted by the task that they have at hand. You get the sense that they're, number one, capable — but two, ready and willing to solve and find a solution for every problem that comes in the door."

Hayes spoke with Taste of Country during Country Cares weekend in January. This is when dozens of artists visit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and hang with patients, as well as hundreds of radio and country music industry professionals, in preparation to raise money for the hospital. In 2019, the initiative celebrates 30 years, with more than $800 million raised and significant advances made in medicine, treatment and cure rates. More than 200 radio stations nationwide take part in radiothons and other events to support St. Jude. Hayes, 27, was on at least his third visit — maybe his fourth or fifth, he couldn't recall.

Artists meet with patients battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, but also get a private tour of the hospital to see what's new. St. Jude's new global initiative had Hayes buzzing. While childhood cancer survival rates have soared to 80 percent in America, it's still 20 percent worldwide, and that's a number doctors want to change. By 2030 the goal is to cure 60 percent of children who have the six most common types of cancer.

From Feb. 7-8, Taste of Country will assist more than a dozen country radio stations in raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a webathon/radiothon. Nearly $7 million has been raised during the previous five joint efforts, with much more raised from other TSM stations later in the year. If you'd like to donate, check here for various options.

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